Patents Examined by Jack W. Keith
  • Patent number: 11501885
    Abstract: Disclosed are a nuclear fuel pellet having enhanced thermal conductivity and a method of manufacturing the same, the method including (a) a step of manufacturing a mixture including a nuclear fuel oxide powder and a thermally conductive plate-shaped metal powder; and (b) a step of molding and then heat-treating the thermally conductive plate-shaped metal powder to have an orientation in a horizontal direction in the mixture, thereby forming a pellet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute
    Inventors: Dong Seok Kim, Dong-Joo Kim, JangSoo Oh, Keon-Sik Kim, Jong-Hun Kim, Jae-Ho Yang
  • Patent number: 11501887
    Abstract: A replacement thermal sleeve with a flange for a reactor vessel closure head penetration adapter housing. By altering a diameter of the flange, a replacement thermal sleeve can be installed through the narrow diameter of the penetration adapter housing opening from under the reactor vessel head. The flange can be compressible or expandable or the tubular wall of the thermal sleeve can be inserted in longitudinal sections, one at a time, into an opening in the underside of the penetration head adapter and reformed within the opening when fully inserted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
    Inventors: Eric M. Benacquista, Anthony J. Mastopietro, Bryan M. Wilson, Nicholas A. Szweda
  • Patent number: 11501884
    Abstract: System for separating and coupling a nuclear fuel assembly from/to a top nozzle which has a flow channel plate with guide holes. The system includes a lock insert and a separation member. The lock insert includes an insertion part provided on a top portion of a hollow body. The separation member is configured to separate the insertion part from a guide hole. The insertion part is variable in size. The insertion part comprises a first latching member and a second latching member, each having a step which contacts the flow channel plate. The first latching member includes a latching groove which is inserted into a member protruding from the top surface of the flow channel plate. The second latching member contacts a bottom surface of the flow channel plate. The separation member provides a space accommodating an outer circumferential surface of the first latching member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: KEPCO NUCLEAR FUEL CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Su Pil Ryu, Seong Soo Kim, Ba Leum Kim, Joo Hong Chun, Nam Gyu Park, Jong Sung Yoo
  • Patent number: 11501883
    Abstract: A getter element includes a getter material reactive with a fission product contained within a stream of liquid and/or gas exiting a fuel assembly of a nuclear reactor. At least one transmission pathway passes through the getter element that is sufficiently sized to maintain a flow of the input stream through the getter element at above a selected flow level. At least one transmission pathway includes a reaction surface area sufficient to uptake a pre-identified quantity of the fission product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: TERRAPOWER, LLC
    Inventors: Daniel Eichel, James M. Vollmer
  • Patent number: 11495363
    Abstract: A mobile modular reactor, in particular, a graphite-moderated fission reactor, has an active core region and at least a portion of control region(s) that are located within an interior volume of a pressure vessel. Flow annulus features located in the flow annulus between an outer surface of the control rod/fuel rod and an inner surface of the cladding of the channel in which the rod is located stabilizes the flow annulus and maintains a reliable concentricity between the inner and outer claddings that envelope the flow annulus. Flow annulus features are equally circumferentially spaced at longitudinally separated locations and the flow annulus features at successive, longitudinally separated locations are rotationally offset relative to each other. For purposes of transportability, the pressure vessel is sized for mobile transport using a ship, train or truck, for example, by fitting within a shipping container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2022
    Assignee: BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC
    Inventors: Craig D. Gramlich, William E. Russell, II
  • Patent number: 11482346
    Abstract: Provided is an apparatus for generating electricity, mechanical energy, and/or process and district heat using a gas propellant chamber fueled with fissile material and enclosed in a sealed containment vessel which also contains an operating gas. The system allows for the operating gas to be compressed as it enters the nuclear fuel chamber where it is heated. As the operating gas exits the nuclear fuel chamber, the kinetic energy of the gas is converted to rotational energy by a variety of methods. The rotational energy is further converted to electricity, mechanical energy, and/or process and district heat. The operating gas circulates in the containment vessel and is cooled prior to re-entering the gas propellant chamber. The apparatus thereby provides a simpler and safer design that is both scalable and adaptable. The apparatus is easily and safely transportable and can be designed to be highly nuclear-proliferation-resistant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2022
    Assignee: NuGen, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen K. Rhyne, Pavel V. Tsvetkov
  • Patent number: 11482345
    Abstract: Passive safety systems cool reactors using surrounding ground as a heat sink. A coolant flow channel may loop around the reactor and then pass outside, potentially through a containment building, into surrounding ground. No active components need be used in example embodiment safety systems, which may be driven entirely by gravity-based natural circulation. The coolant loop may be air-tight and seismically-hardened and filled with any coolant such as water, air, nitrogen, a noble gas, a refrigerant, etc. The ground may include a soil of grey limestone, soft grey fine sandy clay, grey slightly silty sandy gravel, etc. or any other fill with desired heat-transfer characteristics. Coolant fins and/or jackets with secondary coolants may be used on the coolant loop. The coolant loop may be buried at any constant or variable depth, and the reactor and containment may also be buried in the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2022
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Brian S. Hunt, Scott E. Rasmussen
  • Patent number: 11476008
    Abstract: The present relates to the integration of the primary functional elements of graphite moderator and reactor vessel and/or primary heat exchangers and/or control rods into an integral molten salt nuclear reactor (IMSR). Once the design life of the IMSR is reached, for example, in the range of 3 to 10 years, it is disconnected, removed and replaced as a unit. The spent IMSR functions as the medium or long term storage of the radioactive graphite and/or heat exchangers and/or control rods and/or fuel salt contained in the vessel of the IMSR. The present also relates to a nuclear reactor that has a buffer salt surrounding the nuclear vessel. During normal operation of the nuclear reactor, the nuclear reactor operates at a temperature that is lower than the melting point of the buffer salt and the buffer salt acts as a thermal insulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2022
    Assignee: TERRESTRIAL ENERGY INC.
    Inventor: David Leblanc
  • Patent number: 11476011
    Abstract: The reactor core includes at least one module, a solid neutron moderator, and a liquid neutron moderators. Each module contains a casing, at least one heat pipe, one fuel element and thermal insulation. The heat pipe comprises a casing, a wick, and a coolant. The fuel element is made of nuclear fuel, arranged along an evaporation area of the heat pipe, around the heat pipe casing, in thermal contact with the heat pipe casing, and enclosed in a can. Liquid metals are used as the coolant of the heat pipe. Thermal insulation is arranged between the can and the module casing. At least one hole is made in the solid neutron moderator. Each module is arranged within a respective hole of the solid neutron moderator. The space between the module casing and the solid neutron moderator is filled with a liquid neutron moderator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2022
    Assignees: JOINT STOCK COMPANY “STATE SCIENTIFIC CENTRE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION INSTITUTE FOR PHYSICS AND POWER ENGINEERING NAMED AFTER A.I. LEYPUNSKY”, JOINT STOCK COMPANY “SCIENCE AND INNOVATIONS”
    Inventors: Nikolay Ivanovich Loginov, Aleksandr Sergeevich Mikheev, Aleksey Dmitrievich Krotov
  • Patent number: 11476010
    Abstract: The invention relates to safe operation support systems of nuclear power plants (NPPs) at severe accidents, including methods and systems for cooling and cooling control of the reactors molten core. The invention increases safety of NPP and cooling efficiency of the molten core of a reactor. The invention increases the efficiency of cooling the molten core of a reactor by safely removing the heat load from the molten metal mirror, ensuring the elimination of vapor explosions. The invention changes the principle of cooling the reactor molten core, in that after the molten core destroys the reactor vessel, the conditions for subsequent cooling of the molten metal are determined by the characteristics of the trap casing, but not of the reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2022
    Assignees: JOINT STOCK COMPANY “ATOMENERGOPROEKT”, JOINT STOCK COMPANY “SCIENCE AND INNOVATIONS”
    Inventors: Aleksandr Stalevich Sidorov, Nadezhda Vasilevna Sidorova
  • Patent number: 11476009
    Abstract: Nuclear reactor fuel assembly comprising fuel elements installed in a frame having guide channels and spacer grids; a bottom nozzle; and a removable head. The head comprising collet tubes, an upper shell, a support element in the form of a tube, and springs. The collet tubes comprise two coaxially arranged tubes that are movable relative to each other and that each have stops on their side surfaces. The stops interact with each other to select the length of the collet tubes. The upper shell has a tube with a rigidly fixed plate interacting with the springs. The plate has plural holes having a shape corresponding to a shape of a respective boss of the support element. The clearance in plan view between a respective hole and a respective boss being at least the mounting clearance between the tube of the support element and the tube of the upper shell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2022
    Assignee: JOINT STOCK COMPANY “EXPERIMENTAL AND DESIGN ORGANIZATION GIDROPRESS” AWARDED THE ORDER OF THE RED
    Inventors: Viktor Vasil'evich V'yalitsin, Sergey Aleksandrovich Kushmanov, Dmitriy Nikolaevich Puzanov, Dmitriy Viktorovich V'yalitsin
  • Patent number: 11469005
    Abstract: A nuclear reactor core includes at least one module, a solid neutron moderator, and liquid neutron moderator. Each module comprises a housing, at least one heat pipe, at least one fuel element, casing, and thermal insulation. The heat pipe comprises a housing, wick, and evaporating coolant. The fuel element includes a shell and nuclear fuel. An evaporation zone of the heat pipe and the fuel elements are enclosed by the casing. The casing is filled with a liquid coolant. Liquid metal, for example, lithium, calcium, lead, and/or silver, is used as the heat pipe coolant and the liquid coolant. The thermal insulation is arranged in a space between the casing and module housing. The solid neutron moderator has at least one hole, wherein at least one module is located. A space between the solid neutron moderator and module is filled with the liquid neutron moderator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignees: JOINT STOCK COMPANY “STATE SCIENTIFIC CENTRE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION—INSTITUTE FOR PHYSICS AND POWER ENGINEERING NAMED AFTER A.I. LEYPUNSKY”, JOINT STOCK COMPANY “SCIENCE AND INNOVATIONS”
    Inventors: Nikolay Ivanovich Loginov, Viktor Viktorovich Litvinov, Aleksey Dmitrievich Krotov
  • Patent number: 11469004
    Abstract: A control rod assembly for a nuclear reactor having a reactor core and a pressurized fluid source, including a control rod disposed within a control rod sleeve, a lead screw that is selectively secured to the control rod, a trip latch that is secured to a bottom end of the lead screw, the trip latch being selectively securable to a top end of the control rod, a control rod drive motor that is operably connected to the lead screw, and a valve that is in fluid communication with the pressurized fluid source of the nuclear reactor and is movable between a first position and a second position, wherein in the second position of the gas valve the trip latch is in an open position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignee: BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC
    Inventors: James Brian Inman, Gary W. Neeley
  • Patent number: 11456083
    Abstract: A nuclear fuel pellet for a nuclear reactor is disclosed. The pellet comprises a metallic matrix and ceramic fuel particles of a fissile material dispersed in the metallic matrix. The metallic matrix is an alloy consisting of the principle elements U, Zr, Nb and Ti, and of possible rest elements. The concentration of each of the principle elements in the metallic matrix is at the most 50 molar-%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2022
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
    Inventors: Simon Middleburgh, Mattias Puide
  • Patent number: 11456085
    Abstract: A facility for producing radioisotopes. The facility includes at least one target holder. The target holder is configured to receive a target that includes a compound to be irradiated with an accelerated particle beam. The facility includes a cyclotron for producing the accelerated particle beam. The cyclotron includes at least one accelerating cavity within which the beam is subjected to a radiofrequency electric field in order to be accelerated and to a magnetic field enabling it to travel through the cavity several times, describing orbits about an axis of the cyclotron. The magnetic field is produced by at least one coil. The at least one target holder is inside the at least one coil as observed along the axis of the cyclotron. The at least one coil does not have symmetry of revolution about the axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2022
    Assignee: AIMA DEVELOPPEMENT
    Inventors: Pierre Mandrillon, Jérôme Mandrillon
  • Patent number: 11456084
    Abstract: A device for removing shielding balls from calandria of a heavy water reactor is provided. The device includes a head for moving the shielding balls positioned inside of an end shield of the calandria to an outside of the end shield; and a mover for moving the head to the end shield of the calandria. The head includes a head body, an opening former installed on the head body and configured to form an opening in the end shield, and a gate installed on the head body and configured to control an amount of the shielding balls discharged to the outside through the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2022
    Assignee: KOREA HYDRO & NUCLEAR POWER CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Young Hwan Hwang, Seok-Ju Hwang, Mi-Hyun Lee, Cheon-Woo Kim
  • Patent number: 11450441
    Abstract: A method of removing, from a fusion power reactor, a tile that comprises a tile-support tube, which is attached to a back portion of the tile and which comprises a coolant channel that is configured in a horizontal orientation, comprises rotating the tile, which is installed in a locked orientation in a manifold channel of a first wall of the fusion power reactor, until the tile is in an install/remove orientation. The method further comprises grasping, with a removal tool, the tile-support tube. The method additionally comprises lifting the tile away from the first wall of the fusion power reactor with the removal tool such that the tile is completely removed from the manifold channel of the first wall of the fusion power reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2022
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Thomas Lyman Weaver
  • Patent number: 11443859
    Abstract: A nuclear plant including a nuclear reactor and a natural circulation air cooling system configured to provide cooling of the nuclear reactor based on circulating ambient air from an air inlet opening to absorb nuclear reactor rejected heat through an outlet air opening, due to natural circulation of said ambient air induced by the ambient air absorbing said rejected heat, may further include a pile structure covering at least one opening of the air inlet opening or the air outlet opening. The pile structure may include a pile of packing objects covering the at least one opening, such that the at least one opening is obscured from direct exposure to the ambient environment by the pile of the packing objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC
    Inventors: Derek Bass, Eric Paul Loewen, Haaken Lysne
  • Patent number: 11443858
    Abstract: Provided herein is a neutron moderation module and a thermal-neutron nuclear micro-reactor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: UCHICAGO ARGONNE, LLC
    Inventors: Yinbin Miao, Nicolas E. Stauff, Sumit Bhattacharya, Abdellatif M. Yacout, Taek K. Kim
  • Patent number: 11443861
    Abstract: An analysis device for detecting fission products by measurement of a radioactivity includes a first line for carrying a liquid sample, a first detector connected to the first line and designed for measuring the radioactivity of fission products contained in the liquid sample, a second line for carrying a gas sample and a second detector connected to the second line and designed for measuring the radioactivity of fission products contained in the gas sample. The analysis device includes a separation device for separating gas from the first line carrying the liquid sample, which line has an outlet opening into the second line for gas separated from the liquid sample. The outlet opening fluidly connected to the second lines in such a manner that the gas separated from the liquid sample is suppliable as a gas sample to the second detector for measuring the radioactivity of fission products contained therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: FRAMATOME GmbH
    Inventors: Carsten Burchardt, Christoph Zimmermann, Jan Langenberger, Marc Michalsky, Peter Zeh, Thomas Albrecht, Wolfgang Hummel